Universal Studios Permanently Tears Down Park Icon

in Universal Studios Hollywood

The entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood, featuring a rotating globe surrounded by a metal structure with the park's name, as visitors walk towards the entrance.

Credit: Shad Islam via Unsplash

A piece of Universal Studios Hollywood history was just destroyed forever.

While today there are Universal Studios theme parks dotted across the globe in Japan, China, Singapore, and Florida, the original has its home in the film capital of the world: Hollywood.

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance at night covered in orange light for Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood, originating in 1915 as a film studio, quickly transformed into a groundbreaking entertainment destination. Its evolution from a working studio to a theme park in 1964 promised Guests a unique blend of behind-the-scenes glimpses into movie magic and immersive attractions inspired by beloved films.

Of course, back in the 1960s, said attractions weren’t on the same level as those enjoyed by Guests today. Its first high-tech thrill ride opened in 1993 in the form of Back To The Future – The Ride. Today, the Park is home to numerous attractions for Guests of all ages – including those housed in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the newly-opened SUPER NINTENDO WORLD – with plenty more on the way.

Guests riding Flight of the Hippogriff in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal Studios

Related: Universal Studios Hollywood Closes Location Permanently

One attraction coming to the Park soon is a new roller coaster inspired by the Fast & Furious franchise. Although fans had been speculating about the new coaster for months (thanks in no small part to Universal openly testing audio levels on its future site in April), Universal Studios Hollywood formally announced the ride in July.

While it currently doesn’t have a release date, the coaster is set to feature “a state-of-the-art ride system uniquely created to engulf guests within the dynamic Fast & Furious universe.”

Vin Diesel flies past tram in Supercharged promo picture
Credit: Universal Studios

Considering the limited space available for new rides at Universal Studios Hollywood, some major construction has had to take place to clear space for the upcoming attraction – which means saying goodbye to some historical staples.

So far, the Animal Actors Stage, the Castle Theatre, and the Production Central store have all been demolished. Now, according to Inside Universal, the iconic Universal City sign on the Upper Lot hillside has also been removed as of August 18, 2023.

The end of an era…

The Universal City sign is gone.
@UniStudios

For now, there’s no official word on whether the old sign will be archived. However, theme park fans are upset by its removal regardless, sharing their disappointment that the park would tear down such an iconic piece of its history.

“THE END OF AN ERA,” declared Twitter user @Curlyxz.

The Universal City sign has been demolished! No plans for it to be archived @UniStudios photo: Leslie Hedlund

Meanwhile, @Gnarrfield wrote, “Just for now right?? RIGHT??”

@FloridaThrills argued that the sign has “historical significance” and shouldn’t be allowed to be removed just like that, while another user said that it feels like “Universal wants to erase the past.”

Fast & Furious Supercharged brick exterior in Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal Studios

Related: “Even Worse Than I Imagined”: Fans Call for Universal to Close Ride

Hopefully, its removal will have all been worth it, and the new Fast & Furious attraction will be more popular with Guests than its existing ride. Located at both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood (although in the latter, it’s just part of the tram tour), Fast & Furious: Supercharged has rapidly become one of Universal’s most hated attractions ever.

Do you agree with Universal removing a piece of the park’s history for the sake of a Fast & Furious ride? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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